"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

The MILLENNIUM: REIGN of the MESSIAH - Part Five


By James Fire

ISAIAH 61:1-6
 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

Here we have before us one of the most well known verses and supreme declarations of prophecy regarding the Messiah. This is the very passage that the LORD Himself quoted during His earthly ministry (LUKE 4:18; The reader should note that He didn't quote the entire passage though, and for good reason! We will get into that a bit later...). 




The Messiah is anointed to do the following: Preach the good tidings (Gospel) to the meek; to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to open the prisons for those bound therein. 
He is also anointed to proclaim the acceptable Year of the LORD as well as the Day of Vengeance; to comfort all who mourn, specifically those who mourn in Zion, that is, Jerusalem (by type, representative of the government of God: the city of David (2 SAM. 5:7,9; 6:10,12,16; IS. 22:9; see also PSALM 48:1-3); and the city of God (PSALM 46:4; 87:3) and the Throne of the LORD (JER. 3:17)).

Prophets of old were all anointed of God to fulfill their ministry; however the Messiah is unique in that the Spirit of the LORD was given to Him without measure, or in other words, without holding anything back; when God the Father anointed Jesus with the Spirit (John the Baptist who witnessed the Spirit descending upon Jesus in JOHN 1:32 later testified that He received the Spirit fully from the Father in JOHN 3:34), He anointed Him completely – something that none of the prophets ever had! 

And the anointing of Christ is perpetual, as He Himself is eternal, thus the anointing serves for the office of the MESSIAH, Who actually holds three distinct roles. The LORD Jesus Christ (The Greek rendering 'Christ' means 'Messiah' in Hebrew) as the MESSIAH of ISRAEL actually fulfills three roles as the Anointed One of Israel.  
Jesus Christ is the KING of Israel, but He also fulfills the role of PROPHET and PRIEST – and anointed by the Spirit, having all authority and power (MATT. 28:18) to enact all three roles in the office of the MESSIAH.

As KING He rules over all of creation as the SON of GOD (MATT. 16:16-18); He rules over all the Earth as the holy and righteous SON of Man (MATT. 24:29-31); and He also shall rule over all Israel as the SON of David (MATT. 21:9,15; 22:42-46). He rules over His church and over all of the angelic realm (both the holy and evil angels; the evil angels are merely permitted to do their work which ultimately serves God's purposes of glorification when He triumphs over them and their wicked intentions and plans).

As PRIEST the LORD holds the unique ministration of a separate priesthood (HEB 5:6-10; 6:20) differing from the Levitical priesthood (which obviously comes from the tribe of Levi). The LORD Jesus is from the tribe of JUDAH, not LEVI, and so His priesthood does not utilize the various sacrifices under the Levitical priesthood (the bulls, calves, sheep, etc) nor does He function in the earthly Temple which was based on the Tabernacle as given by Moses (who received the designs from God), but the heavenly Temple (HEB 9:24; I would highly recommend that you read the entirety of HEBREWS 9) and rather than offering animal sacrifices, He offered up Himself, the pure and sinless LAMB of GOD (HEB 7:27; 9:14,26).

Then there is the role as PROPHET who brings the WORD of the LORD to Israel, and while the Old Testament prophets did indeed bring the Word of the LORD to the people, Jesus is The Supreme PROPHET in that He did not merely bring the Word of the LORD to the people; HE IS HIMSELF the WORD of GOD (JOHN 1:1-2,14; REV 19:13)! While the prophets were fallible men, when the Spirit of the LORD came upon them, they spoke – and wrote infallibly, without error (2 PET 1:21); yet the PROPHET Who is the MESSIAH is the very WORD presented directly to Israel and to all the world, flawlessly sinless and absolutely holy!

For more on this subject, please read the article at the following web site, Boyce’s Abstract of Systematic Theology–Chapter 27 THE OFFICES OF CHRIST.

Much of what Isaiah prophesied regarding the MESSIAH in this passage of ISAIAH 61 has been fulfilled by the LORD Jesus Christ, but there are yet some things He did not accomplish when He was still in the world. If we take a look at the passage in LUKE 4, we will see that He stops short in His reading of ISAIAH; compare the verses found in ISAIAH with what the LORD reads:

LUKE 4:18-20
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

The LORD made no mention at all about “the Day of Vengeance . . .” or any of the remaining portion of Scripture. As the Redeemer of Israel (and all believing Gentiles) He also holds the title of the Avenger of Blood. We recently did an article FROM the MIND of FIRE about our KINSMAN REDEEMER - which might prove useful to review.

At the end of this present age, and beginning that seven year period in which Satan will have his day, he and the Beast will be worshiped (REV 13:4); the world will in the vast majority be in allegiance with them, and Israel will ultimately be the singular target for Satan, whose intent to demolish will not come to fruition. 

Though two thirds of the Jewish population will be killed off (ZECH 13:8-9), a third shall be brought through that time of “Jacob's Trouble” (JER. 30:7) and receive the arriving MESSIAH, Whose coming will wreak vengeance upon all of her adversaries, and all the enemies of God; all of those who likewise refuse the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 THESS. 1:7-9). 
Everything up to “the day of Vengeance . . .” the LORD has fulfilled – and is continuing to fulfill today: through His church, by His Spirit, He is yet preaching the Gospel, He is still healing the brokenhearted, He is setting at liberty those who were imprisoned, healing the blind, and letting loose captives!

The Day is coming however, when this ministry comes to a halt – when the opportunity to believe the Gospel will be no more; which is why it's so vital to receive salvation while it's still being offered today!  

HEB 3:8-13
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Getting back to the text of ISAIAH 61 . . . 

In vs. 3 it states:

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified

The people of Israel will receive the Spirit on that blessed day of the LORD's return: “oil” is a type for the Holy Spirit. We have the following from John H. Ritenbaugh:

LEV:2:1-2
“Oil is a widely understood symbol of the Holy Spirit and thus does not require a detailed explanation, but one scripture will suffice to link the Holy Spirit and oil directly:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. . . . (LUKE 4:18)
"'The Spirit of the Lord'" and the oil of anointing are directly linked. The oil of anointing stands as a physical representation of Jesus being given the Spirit to perform these functions for God in His service to man.

ACTS 10:38 reveals another aspect of this symbolism: ". . . how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." Again, reference is made to anointing—an act normally done with oil—with the Holy Spirit, and Peter adds "with power," a characteristic not included in LUKE 4:18.

“Though Jesus was bruised in service, He never lacked power. By contrast, we are rarely bruised, broken, or ground in service, but we are usually powerless. The truth is, the greatest zeal and knowledge are useless without God's Holy Spirit providing the right perspective, attitude, and intention for any service we perform.”

Israel will receive the Spirit and the accompanying joy of the LORD (EZEK 36:26; 37:14); and they, the “trees of righteousness” shall be planted in the land with GOD's own solemn vow of absolute assurance (JER. 32:40-42) and everything not planted by the LORD shall be uprooted and burned (LUKE 3:8-9). Glory to God!

ISAIAH 61:4-6
4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
5 And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the Lord: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.

After so much destruction, killing, mayhem and iniquity under the reign of the Beast – with all of its vile hatred and rank evil – the day of darkness will come to its end, and the glory of the LORD will be revealed (ROM 13:11-12): Jesus Christ will finally establish His righteous reign on the Earth, and begin the government of God (the SON) from Jerusalem (LUKE 1:32-33), over all Israel and the world.

Grand and panoramic rebuilding of “old wastes” and “former desolations” and reparations of “the waste cities” shall commence with industrious enthusiasm. At one time Israel was the primary target of persecution by the Gentile world; on this day to come, they will be the prime subject of blessing and prosperity! The Gentile nations shall gladly serve Israel, these who will be known as the Priests of the LORD and Ministers of our God! This will not be out of a sense of oppression or even duty, but joy and gladness, for the Gentiles who have come to the LIGHT of the LORD will be blessed of the KING, and from hearts of worship and gratitude, serve the KING's people, Israel (ISAIAH 60:3-11).

ISAIAH 61:7-9
7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
8 For I the Lord love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
9 And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.

Imagine for just a moment, after all of the incredible oppression, harassment and persecution that Israel experienced for millenia, at this time, they shall receive “double” the entire summation of suffering that they received! Even the dimensions of Israel's national borders shall be dramatically increased – in accordance with God's promise to Abraham, Who declared the borders to the patriarch: far greater than Israel has ever possessed – yet! See GEN 15:18.

The LORD shall so encompass the hearts and lives of His people with His grace and love, His truth and justice, that there will be no more criminal activity against them, nor any dark deeds at all throughout the Earth, but that it shall exact immediate and equitable punitive justice.

Elsewhere the LORD mentions His “everlasting covenant” with Israel, and everlasting means “everlasting” which is, contrary to the opinions of too many professing Christians, unbreakable, and non-voidable! See JER 32:40.

ISAIAH 61:10-11
10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

From the very beginning of creation, the LORD, Who is complete in and of Himself between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, still desired to created beings with which He could fellowship; He created the angels, and He created man. While in the midst of the angelic population, Lucifer plotted and seduced a third of those spiritual beings to rebel against the LORD (REV 12:4). Two thirds of that celestial race remained faithful to the LORD and the line of judgment has been irrevocably drawn, with those on the other side being condemned and destined for eternal fire (MATT. 25:41).

Adam, and his wife, Eve were the only ones of their race, the parents of all humanity, and as they likewise succumbed to the wiles of the devil, their lot was entirely different. Rather than condemn them outright to the future fate of eternal fire, as was the case with the fallen angels, they were given a promise from God:

GEN 3:15
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel

The “seed of the woman” was the announcement of the Coming One, Who later was identified as the Messiah of Israel, and Lion of the Tribe of Judah. He would “save His people Israel from their sins” (MATT 1:21). He would also bring Gentiles to His Light and Salvation (ISAIAH 42:6; 49:6; 60:3; LUKE 2:32; ACTS 13:47; 26:23). Thus in redeeming mankind, Jew and Gentile, He will re-establish fellowship with His creatures by clothing them with the garments of salvation and the robe of righteousness, and therefore wholly acceptable to attend the LAMB's wedding feast (see the anti-thesis of this represented in MATT 22:1-14).

The righteousness displayed among the nations on that Blessed Day will not be of human manufacture or effort, with all of the frailty and unreliable consistency associated with it; this will be the fruit of God's own working in the hearts of those who receive Him and His salvation. Just as certainly as the LORD speaks and fruit is raised up in the earth, so likewise by His Word of Truth and Spirit of Grace, shall He be satisfied when He sees “righteousness and praise spring forth before all the nations”.

We have only two more chapters to examine in the book of ISAIAH before we then move on to JEREMIAH, EZEKIEL, DANIEL, ZECHARIAH and other prophets to discover what else shall entail the MILLENNIAL REIGN of the MESSIAH! Until then, may the LORD bless and keep us in His Truth and Grace!

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